Cubans Lose Sea Gamble for US

By Circles Robinson

Morro lighthouse at the entrance to Havana Bay. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, May 10 — Over three dozen Cubans in three different vessels were captured at sea by the US Coast Guard as they came up short trying to take advantage of the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act that favors Cuban immigrants over all other nationals.

Reports were filed Monday by UPI and the Miami Herald, which said the Cubans would all be returned to Cuba, but some would go to the US Naval Base at Guantanamo (occupied Cuban territory), most likely for further interviews.

Potential Cuban immigrants have to touch US soil or they get sent back to start.  The 1995 revision of the Cuban Adjustment Act —popularly known as the Wet Foot, Dry Foot law— graphically describes the way it is enforced.

According to the Coast Guard, the ones that got the closest to US soil was one group of five men who made it within five miles of Key West when they were nabbed on May 2.   The authorities said another group of five Cubans was captured 15 miles from Key West on May 5.  In between, 26 Cubans and their three smugglers were halted on May 4 by the Coast Guard at an undisclosed location.

The US law entices Cubans seeking greener pastures to take to the Caribbean Sea in rickety vessels or smugglers speed boats with the hope of landing on US soil which in most cases grants them a fast track to permanent US residency.